A RARE AND GOOD .68 FLINTLOCK DRAGOON CARBINE BY H. DELANY FROM THE SHIRBURN CASTLE ARMOURY, CIRCA 1710, numbered '2', with original bayonet,
35 1/2in. three stage barrel struck with London proofs and a moon shaped barrel makers mark, the muzzle with small block sight doubling as a bayonet lug, barrel secured to the stock by a tang screw from the underside and three round pins, lock of rounded form and the early banana shape with the makers name 'H. DELANY' to the centre, no frizzen bridle to the pan, the frizzen spring terminates with a tear drop finial, swan-neck cock, full length stock with remains of its original black varnish finish, brass furniture, flat S shaped side-plate holds the two lock retaining bolts, wrist escutcheon with the coat of arms of the Gage family and numbered 'T.G. / 2', the T.G. being for Thomas Gage, old wooden ramrod and complete with its original socket bayonet with brass mounted black leather scabbard, bayonet with 9in. flat shallow diamond form of blade, socket engraved with the No '2' numbering it to the carbine
Provenance: This is one of twenty dragoon carbines all numbered and with bayonets that were purchased by Thomas Gage of Shirburn Castle around 1710 probably to arm a troop of dragoons to protect the Gage family and their possessions. The Gages were a Catholic family and noted Jesuit sympathisers. They remained in the Castle armoury when the Earl of Macclesfield purchased the castle in 1716 and remained untouched since that date. The armoury was added to by the various Earls of Macclesfield and remained intact until 2003 when following a long running family dispute and a subsequent high court action resulting in the 9th Earl being evicted from the castle. The Earl retained ownership of the major part of the castle's contents including the armoury, a major down-sizing occurred and the contents and armoury were disposed of. The vendor obtained this rare musket at that time, he also produced an illustrated booklet detailing the story of the armoury and both the Gage and Parker families including the family dispute and court case
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